More About Our Gutter Cleaning Services

At My Window Washing, we do windows – and we do a number of other things for customers. But our gutter cleaning services are a vital part of what we offer, partly because this much-needed maintenance may be difficult for property owners to perform themselves, and partly because avoiding it can be expensive. 

Here are some of the major reasons that we get calls for gutter cleaning at a property.

Ladder Safety

For DIY people who want to do everything themselves, it may be tempting to simply get on the ladder and clean out the gutters on a regular basis. However, for anyone who’s aging or has significant mobility problems, or even for those of us with poor coordination or balance, ladder safety is an important part of this equation.

Falling off a ladder can cost you thousands of dollars. Even if it’s only an ER visit, the costs can greatly exceed any savings you would’ve gotten from cleaning your own gutters for about 50 years! Sometimes, things like this are best left to the pros, where specialized insurance is in play for those types of unfortunate situations, and crews are trained to avoid these injuries. 

Hard-to-Reach Spots

You might have a one-story rancher with pretty reasonable gutters – where you can just stand up an 8-foot ladder and get right up there. But there may be corners and crevices that are just beyond your reach, and there again, you’re running into ladder safety issues. Lean the wrong way, and you could end up generating those thousand-dollar hospital bills we talked about above. Also, how will the gutter handle the weight of your ladder – and you? Pros know exactly how to approach a gutter system, but unless you’ve specialized in this work, you might end up actually damaging your gutters.

The Cost of Neglect

Another option is to just hope that not too much dirt and debris flows into your gutters over time – but that’s really just wishful thinking.

Without good annual gutter maintenance, it doesn’t take long for sediment to build up and clog gutters and downspouts. Presently, you’ll see water seeping into your basement and creating water damage and mold and other problems. It’s even common for plants to grow in your gutters as seeds drift up there along with the other detritus.

Call My Window Washing if you need your gutters cleaned on a regular basis. You’ll find that hiring the pros to do your gutters is a bargain in the long run – and it’s easy!

How to Care for Your Home’s Wood Siding: 7 Essential Maintenance Tips

Whether it’s made of vinyl or wood, the siding on your home is left exposed to all sorts of elements throughout the year.

If you have wood siding, it’s crucial to learn how to care for it so that it lasts for years to come.

Read on to discover a list of seven essential maintenance tips that will keep your siding looking beautiful all year round.

1. Use a Quality Sealer

As the weather and temperature changes, your wood siding will naturally expand and contract. If you don’t protect the siding, the paint can chip, the wood can crack, and caulked seams can start to come apart. All wood products need a sealer, especially those that are outside.

Make sure you seal your siding at least once a year to keep it safe and protected. Certain types of wood that are known to be rot-resistant like cypress and cedar still need to be sealed. Look for sealers that can handle hot temperatures, extreme cold, and everything in between.

2. Keep Your Wood Siding Clean

All types of siding should be kept clean, so clean yours at least once per year using warm, soapy water and a soft brush. Start by doing your cleaning in 20-foot sections as you work your way from the bottom to the top. This ensures that there are no drips that can leave unsightly stains and marks behind.

If you notice any mildew, be sure to use a fungus-killing cleaning product and wear eye protection for safety. Once the antifungal solution is applied, rinse the siding thoroughly with water. For rust stains, dissolve some oxalic acid in warm water and gently scrub the rust spots away before rinsing.

3. Give Your Siding a Makeover

One way to maintain your wood siding is to give it a fresh, new look. If you love the appearance of natural wood, refinish it using the same color or try something different to bring out the grain. Allow the finish to dry and then apply a new coat of sealant on top.

You can also paint your siding if you want to give your home a different color. Just make sure you use a quality outdoor paint and have it professionally applied if you can. Use several coats, then finish it with a sealer to keep it looking new.

4. Replace Damaged Sections of Siding

It’s almost impossible to avoid damage to your siding at some point, so make sure you replace those damaged spots when you can. A professional can help to remove the damaged areas and leave the remaining areas intact. If you don’t repair wood siding properly, it can look uneven and mismatched.

It’s difficult to match up damaged wood siding perfectly, so rely on a pro who can ensure that everything looks in line. You can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $300 or more per damaged panel. Repairing and replacing damaged siding can prevent further issues and will keep your home protected and insulated.

5. Take Preventative Measures

Your wood siding can become damaged due to a variety of factors including the weather and landscaping. During warm days with temperatures that are 65 degrees or higher, inspect and then replace any missing or damaged caulk.

Keep a close eye on plants in your yard and remove all tree limbs or shrubs that are coming into contact with the siding. Plants can transfer moisture into the tiny cracks and other openings of your wood siding. When you mow the yard, be aware of any sticks or small stones that can be thrown onto the siding and cause dings and other damage.

6. Check Your Home’s Ventilation

An attic with improper ventilation can transfer humidity and moisture to your siding which can result in rotting or other damage. Make sure your attic has the proper ventilation to keep your home and your wood siding nice and dry.

Your indoor humidity should be around 65-percent or lower to prevent moisture from getting behind the siding. In areas that are prone to ice dams, add roof heat tracing wires to prevent excess ice buildup. With good ventilation and reduced moisture exposure, the siding should last for a lot longer.

7. Powerwash with Caution

Power washing is a great way to clean your siding quickly and easily, but it can also wreak havoc on wood. The strong water can strip your paint, leaving gouges in the wood and loosening caulk. It can also force moisture into the wood even if it’s painted on the surface.

Don’t aim a pressure washer upward since this can force the water to go underneath the siding. Spray away from the surface and then slowly point the tip upward toward your siding at a distance of one foot or more away. Go the full length of your siding and never move it up and down to ensure a smooth and even sweep.

Keep Your Siding Fresh and Maintained

Use these tips to ensure that your wood siding stays beautiful for years to come. Always keep your siding clean and check it frequently for signs of damage so you can replace it as soon as possible.

Keep trees and other plants away from the siding, and check the ventilation in your home to keep humidity levels at a reasonable rate. With the right maintenance, this siding can give your home a beautiful look that will last.

Visit our website and contact us today for your gutter cleaning, window washing, power washing, and window cleaning needs!

Deck Cleaning: The Best Ways to Care for Your Wooden Decking

A wooden deck adds beauty and value to your home, and it’s a great way to enjoy some outdoor entertaining.

When it comes to good maintenance and care, it’s important to practice a few proper deck cleaning methods.

Before you head outside to hose down your deck, read this helpful guide so you know more about the best ways to keep your wooden decking beautiful and squeaky clean.

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Should I Clean My Gutters Before Winter Hits?

As the premier gutter cleaning company in Chicago, IL, My Window Washing understands that gutters are an integral system of your home. They need to function correctly in the face of harsh weather and various outdoor conditions. While you may realize that our gutter professionals will get the job done correctly, you may be unsure of the right time of year to give us a call. We’re here to help shed some light! 

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5 Problems That Clogged Gutters Can Cause

Cleaning gutters is a chore that might not be high on the list of pleasant things to do, but foregoing it can cause a lot of problems. Not only does neglect to clean your gutters cost you big money in the long run, but it can also affect almost every part of your home.

So without further ado, here are three problems that clogged gutters can cause you:

Mold and Mildew

Our article on ‘Clogged Gutters? Here Are 7 Tell-Tale Signs Your Gutters Need Cleaning’ notes that if water starts to flow over, rather than through your gutters, then they are definitely clogged up. This leads to water cascading over parts of your home that aren’t built to be exposed to water, and in turn, it can lead to mold and mildew. HomeServe Living suggests that mold can form from overflowing gutters, which can then feed on materials like dust, carpets, and wood. Not only is it unsightly and smelly, but mold also poses a genuine health hazard as it can cause allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory problems.

Pests Everywhere

Pest infestation is something that nobody wants — but clogged gutters can actually cause it. There are many types of insects that can thrive in stagnant water, such as mosquitoes. However, this decaying environment caused by a clogged drainage system can also attract carpenter ants, termites, and other pests that destroy wood. In other words, the same conditions that can breed annoying mosquitoes can also breed significant damage to your property.

Superficial and Structural Roof Damage

If left unchecked, WyDaily notes that clogged gutters can cause some serious structural damage to your roof, as it could be at risk of either superficial or structural damage. Superficial damage can occur and remove shingles and damaged chimneys. Built-up moisture in cold temperatures can even destroy your gutters, leading to replacements. However, the worst-case scenario is that excess water can seep through your roof, which can lead to wood rot and eventually, mold and mildew.

Foundation Damage

Clogged gutters can also cause damage to your foundation. If the sand, dirt, or clay underneath your home gets too wet, erosion will weaken your home, and your foundation could potentially shift and cause cracks or buckling. Water can then spill over and down the sides of the house and into the foundation, causing even further water damage and it can lead to more cracks.

Damaged Soffits and Fascia

Your soffits and fascia are the closest things to your gutter. When your gutters get clogged, water gets collected and with nowhere to go, it will eventually eat away at your soffits and fascias. Additionally, the Earth Awards outlines that the weight of standing water on your gutters could put a strain on the gutters and fascia, which could then lead to them collapsing. Replacing it all is a very expensive job.

The Bottom Line

Any debris that gets into your gutter can cause some serious problems that will lead to costly renovations. My Window Washing offers professional gutter cleaning services so you don’t have to let these issues affect your home. If you suspect that you have a clogged gutter, don′t wait – call us today for a pro gutter cleaning service.

8 Must-Read Tips for Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding and Gutters

1. Perform an Eye Test

Before anything else, take a few circles around the house and make sure all siding is still in place.

Obviously, with pressure washing, any loose siding will fly off and any cracks will give water access to undesirable places.

Close all of the windows on the house, make sure there aren’t any places where the water can get through. Once everything looks intact, your eye test has commenced!

2. Move All Objects

Before you fire up the pressure washer, you’re going to want to give yourself around a 10-foot radius of open space.

As such, make sure that all objects are that far away from the walls you’re going to be cleaning. One false move and you can send a garden decoration flying into the outside wall of your home, leaving a mark.

Depending on the cleaning solution you use, you may also want to cover your plants up with a tarp to prevent them from being damaged

3. Water the Plants Along Your Home’s Siding

As was just mentioned, the cleaning solution you use may have chemicals that are harmful to your plants along the side of your house.

If you don’t have a tarp to use, then there’s another trick that you have up your sleeve.

Watering the soil and the plants before starting your pressure washing will weaken the chemicals if they hit the soil.

4. Keep the Pressure Washer at Eye Level

While in use, make sure that you keep the pressure washing stream at or below eye level. This will give you the best angle on what spots you‘re hitting and when you can move on from it.

This is also the position in which you’ll have the most control over the stream.

If you aim too high then the pressure washer won’t be able to provide a thorough clean.

5. Point the Stream Straight Ahead

A lot of people have the misconception that you‘re supposed to pressure wash at an angle to “brush” the dirt away.

However, there are two main reasons you want to point the stream straight on.

One, it’s the best way to provide a thorough scrubbing of all the dirt on the side of your house. Secondly, it prevents any water from creeping in underneath the siding where mildew can form.

Sound too overwhelming to find the sweet spot? Afraid you won’t be able to do it appropriately? Perhaps a house pressure washing service is a better option for you!

6. Hand Dry the Corners

One of the biggest concerns you should have when pressure washing is getting water in unwanted areas.

There are certain areas that are especially susceptible to gathering the water and building mildew and mold if not attended to.

To avoid that from happening, take a dry towel and hand dry all of the corners of the siding where you believe water might gather. Give it a good scrub to remove anything that was previously built up.

You don’t have to do this to every single piece of siding on your house. Just use your best judgment and hand dry any areas you think could use a little extra attention.

7. Be Thorough When Selecting Cleaning Products

If you take nothing else from this article, heed this piece of advice: not all cleaning products are made for vinyl siding.

Some are specific to wood or aluminum and should never be used for vinyl.

To avoid making that mistake, be sure to read all product labels before taking them to the register.

You may even want to consider performing the eye test prior to going to the store for cleaning supplies. If there’s any mildew, then you’ll want something that contains oxidized bleach to rid your siding off it.

8. Be Mindful of the PSI’s

Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as too much power on a pressure washer.

Too much power may damage the siding of your house, while too little power won’t provide an efficient pressure cleaning.

Try to keep your pressure somewhere between 1,000 to 1,400 Pounds per square inch (PSI).

If you’re not sure which one to start with then start low and work your way up. If you notice that the markings or stains on your siding aren’t going away after pressure has been applied, then up the PSI a bit.

Call an Expert for Your Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding Needs

Why take on the task of pressure washing vinyl siding all by yourself when you can have the touch of an expert service?

Hiring a pressure washing service will give you the most bang for your buck and save you hours of preparation and cleaning.

Be sure to read this article on the best time to pressure wash your home for more information on how the season affects your efforts.

For more inquiries, please reach out via our contact us page and we’ll be happy to assist you further.

Clogged Gutters? Here Are 7 Tell-Tale Signs Your Gutters Need Cleaning

clogged gutters

The average homeowner needs to budget between 1 and 3 percent of their home’s value just to maintain their house. But if your home has clogged gutters, that budget could skyrocket.

Believe it or not, gutter clogs can do some serious damage to your house, putting you and your loved ones at risk for mold if you’re not careful. The best thing you can do is get those clogs removed as quickly as possible.

But how can you tell when it’s time to schedule a cleaning? Watch for these tell-tale signs.

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Power Washing Tips

Power Wash 7
Why power wash your home’s surfaces? Overtime your home’s siding, sidewalks, deck and other surfaces accumulates dirt, mildew, mold and stains. This not only impacts your abode’s appearance; it can also impact indoor air quality. Power washing can remove allergen in and around your home Moreover, left unaddressed exterior grime buildup can lead to significant stains and damage. Finally, power washing is the best way to prepare surfaces for paint, stain, sealing or refinishing.

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